TCU coach Jamie Dixon fared pretty well against Jim Boeheim and Syracuse during his 13-year run at Pittsburgh.
Dixon posted a 15-6 record against the Orange in his tenure with the Panthers — both longtime Big East rivals and now ACC foes. Dixon will now meet up with Boeheim once again on Friday after leading TCU to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1998.
And while times have changed, Boeheim doesn’t expect it to be any less of a challenge in Detroit when he coaches against Dixon yet again. If anything, there’s an even bigger hurdle to climb.
According to ESPN’s Dan Murphy, Boeheim said on Thursday that TCU “is a “much better team offensively” than any Dixon-led Pittsburgh team that Syracuse ever faced.
Syracuse's Jim Boeheim says that the TCU team he'll face tomorrow is a "much better offensive team" than Jamie Dixon's teams at Pitt.
— Dan Murphy (@DanMurphyESPN) March 15, 2018
Points, Points, Points
After spending four years at or near the cellar of the Big 12 conference, TCU has experienced a complete transformation since Dixon returned to his alma mater in 2016. The Horned Frogs are averaging 83 points per game this season — tied with Wichita State at No. 18 in the nation.
Only Oklahoma, who was eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, averaged more points than TCU in the Big 12 this season, at 85.2 points per game.
So how does TCU’s mark compare to Syracuse? The Orange is only averaging 67 points per game this season — far below the Horned Frogs’ mark. Syracuse only managed 60 points in the team’s play-in-game victory over Arizona State on Wednesday — a game which featured a 30-28 Syracuse lead at halftime.
In regards to any Pitt-TCU comparisons in the scoring department, the Panthers averaged 75 points per game in Dixon’s final season with the team — good for No. 132 overall during the 2015-16 season.
Dixon compared TCU to an “NBA team” on Tuesday before the Horned Frogs left for Detroit — a trait that he believes has made the team among the most fun to watch in college basketball this year for any fan.
If the Horned Frogs can keep up the pace in the Motor City on Friday, it could very well be enough to send them to their first NCAA Tournament victory in more than three decades. Game time is set for 8:40 p.m. CT at Little Caesars Arena.
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